The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police officers were justified in firing shots at a man who fired a shotgun at Police at the conclusion of a pursuit in Christchurch on 26 February 2019.
Three days earlier, Police had pursued a car in the Christchurch area, but abandoned the pursuit when the occupants fired shots at Police vehicles. None of the occupants were apprehended at this time.
On 26 February an officer saw a man in the same car and a pursuit ensued, with Police successfully spiking the car. The man continued driving at a low speed, waving a shotgun out of the car window. He then stopped in a residential area and got out of the car.
During the exchange that followed, the man fired two shots at officers. Three Police officers fired a total of 35 shots between them, hitting the man twice. No other person was injured.
A Police dog was used to hold the man's arm once he was on the ground, which enabled officers to move in and handcuff him. Officers then immediately provided first aid.
The Authority found that Police were justified in pursuing the man and spiking his car. They were justified in firing at him to defend themselves and others. The force used was necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances. The use of the Police dog was also justified as it enabled officers to carry out the arrest. Some officers breached policy by not reporting they were armed and not wearing ballistic body armour.
"The man used lethal force to resist Police, posing a risk to the officers and to members of the public. Officers had little option but to respond, using their firearms to overcome and incapacitate the man." said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.